The year 2020 will most certainly be a memorable one for all of us and for generations to come. As we reflect on the year fueled by a global pandemic and heightened social and political unrest, we can also celebrate progress and how we worked together to overcome adversity. We can look forward to a brighter year ahead with a Trenton community that remains vigilant and resilient.
So many corporations, educational institutions, non-profits, political and civic leaders came together in 2020 to help those in need from food banks and volunteers across the Trenton area to organizations and individuals assisting struggling businesses impacted by the pandemic.
In an effort to assist local businesses and residents in the city of Trenton in the wake of COVID-19, we leveraged relationships and resources to complement and support the City’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) loan pool to make loans to small businesses across the entire 7.5 square miles of the city and particularly to those businesses outside the UEZ area. To this end, we established our Business Helping Business initiative to create a private pool of capital to assist businesses and preserve jobs in Trenton.
We partnered with the City of Trenton, The African American Chamber of Commerce, The Trenton Downtown Association and New Jersey Community Capital to assist in implementing the program and ensuring maximum effectiveness.
The capital pool is funded from critical private grants from some of the largest companies and institutions in our region including Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Hibbert Group, Investors Bank, NJM Insurance Group, Princeton University and Wells Fargo Bank. In addition, we supplemented the grants by securing additional funding into the capital pool from other organizations willing to provide funds in the form of zero percent loans, beyond Greater Trenton’s own capital, including Clarke Caton Hintz, New Jersey Business and Industry Association, New Jersey Realtors, Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber, Trenton Corrugated and Trenton Downtown Association.
We thank all of our sponsors and event committee members who supported our 3rd Annual Caren Franzini Capital City Award Celebration on December 8, 2020, particularly during these challenging times. We are also grateful to Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin for providing videos recognizing Skip and the work of Greater Trenton.
While we were not gathered together as in past years, the broadcasted event was certainly special on many fronts as we reflected on Caren Franzini’s legacy and honored Anthony ‘Skip’ Cimino, Executive Director of the New Jersey General Assembly Majority Office, longtime friend of Caren and an instrumental leader in the conception and formation of Greater Trenton.
If you missed the event, it will re-air on channel 24 in the city of Trenton, Ewing Township, Hopewell Borough, Lawrence Township and Pennington Borough. These areas will have the opportunity to tune in and watch at 7:00 p.m. on multiple occasions including January 1st, 3rd, 6th, 8th and 10th. It can also be reviewed by visiting the following link: Greater Trenton – Caren Franzini Capital City Award Celebration on Vimeo.
Below are key TrentonDaily stories of 2020 that encapsulate a year filled with challenges met with great resolve as we engaged in collaborative partnerships and supported various efforts to ensure the health and strength of our city during a difficult chapter in the history of Trenton and across the world.
We look forward to great momentum in the years ahead as the community recovers from these challenging times. As always, we value your continued support and we look forward to working together in close collaboration and partnership in 2021 and beyond.
Stay safe and be well.
Chief Executive Officer
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